Single Entity Funds

A powerful tool for supporting community and systems change, single entity funds provide our partners with the infrastructure and expertise to channel funds into a mission-aligned project or program.

Two organizers with Leaders Igniting Transformation, a partner of Alliance for Youth Organizing.
Two organizers with Leaders Igniting Transformation, a partner of Alliance for Youth Organizing.

What is a Single Entity Fund?

A single entity fund, which operates the same way as Model C fiscal sponsorship, is a Tides Foundation solution to assist individuals or organizations with raising and directing funds to a specific program or initiative — without the time and expense of starting a nonprofit. Tides extends our status and operational support, so our partners can streamline their fundraising and grantmaking as they respond to community needs. Social change leaders, organizations without 501(c)(3) status, and others, use these funds to fuel a spectrum of social justice work, including:

  • Community leaders who need short-term incubation support while they wait for their own 501(c)(3) status
  • Social change leaders responding to urgent needs in their communities
  • Individuals and groups not planning to seek nonprofit status for their mission-driven work who still need a compliant way to receive donations 
  • Businesses that want to channel funds to a charitable initiative within the organization

Single Entity Fund Offerings

Tides works in deep partnership with doers and donors, providing a variety of fund solutions that center the leadership of communities historically denied power.

  • Core Fund Management

    Single entity funds give donors a way to make tax-deductible contributions and provide Tides’ grantmaking support with a designated advisor for a specific project or program —  inviting our partners to achieve their vision for justice without the complexity of starting a nonprofit.

  • A Latine woman standing proudly in front of a large trans flag banner.

    Customized Services

    Doers and donors looking for more hands-on guidance can deepen their impact through personalized strategic advising. In partnership with the fund’s manager, Tides advisors work to clarify the fund’s goals and strategies, optimize the grantmaking approach, deliver customized financial reporting, and build more effective charitable projects and programs.

  • More Ways to Make Change

    For social change leaders looking for a partner to help manage the day-to-day complexities of running a mission-driven organization, Tides offers more comprehensive support through Model A fiscal sponsorship. In these partnerships, Tides extends our 501(c)(3) status, full operational infrastructure, and hands-on guidance to support our partners driving change.

Why Tides?

Tides brings deep connections, competence, and commitment to social justice to every partnership.


Tides recognizes that communities historically denied power have the knowledge necessary to realize a just and equitable future. Our single entity funds help shift the resources and power these groups need to further their work.


Creating a nonprofit or charitable program can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Tides’ support in nonprofit and grantmaking operations reduces our partners’ administrative burdens, freeing them to deepen their work to advance justice in impacted communities.


Tides is more than a home for high-impact grantmaking — we’re a guide who seeks to build authentic relationships, align our partners’ goals with the right approach, and deepen impact over time. Our team keeps you informed while handling the back-end details, from administering grant agreements and financial reporting to helping to manage risk.


It takes a community to create change. Tides connects our partners to other like-minded leaders so they can share their ideas, work through roadblocks, and inspire each other on the path to social justice.

How to Start a Single Entity Fund

Work with Tides to start amplifying impact. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Complete our questionnaire

Complete our Partner With Us form, then our team will contact you (if a partnership fit is determined) to discuss potential next steps.

Step 2: Talk to us 

We’ll discuss goals with you to ensure our values are aligned, then recommend the best fund vehicle to support the causes you care about.

Step 3: Complete an application

If mission alignment is confirmed, we’ll send you an application to explore your fund goals further.

Step 4: Make an establishing gift

Once we have full approval, we’ll formalize our partnership and process your establishing gift.

Step 5: Start your giving journey

Representatives for your single entity fund meet the fund’s designated advisor and begin powering their social impact with Tides at their side.

Interested in partnering with Tides?

There’s no greater force than the collective power of people united for justice. Join us to fuel lasting change.

Connect with Tides

Frequently Asked Questions


Tides provides grantmaking and other support to social change leaders to help build a world of shared prosperity and social justice.

A Tides Collective Action Fund (CAF) is a purpose-driven fund that relies on an independent advisory committee to  make recommendations to Tides for grants in support of a specific charitable purpose.

How does a CAF work?

  • The independent advisory committee (IAC) is composed of individuals committed to the fund purpose and with expertise or experience to support the achievement of that purpose.  
  • The committee reviews grant requests, then makes recommendations to Tides that align with the CAF’s charitable purpose and goals.
  • Tides reviews the recommendations for legal compliance and support of Tides’ mission and values and then makes a final decision on the grant request. 

CAFs can accept charitable contributions from a variety of sources, including individuals, donor advised funds, private foundations and corporations.

Do grants from the CAF support political candidates or campaigns?

No. Tides Foundation is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and CAFs are prohibited from funding partisan political activity. 

Can Tides overrule the recommendation of the Independent Advisory Committee?

CAFs benefit from the input of the independent advisory committee. The intent is to follow its recommendations. However, Tides may reject recommendations that are  inconsistent with the CAF’s purpose, don’t support Tides’ charitable mission, or are not in compliance with applicable law.

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Tides does not provide funding or fundraising assistance to our fiscally sponsored projects.

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Tides offers a wide range of fund options to meet philanthropic objectives across the globe. Fees can range from 1% on standard donor advised funds to 5% for funds supporting a single domestic or  international project or organization. Tides staff can review your proposed fund activity and give a clear assessment of potential fees.

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Opening a fund at Tides generally takes 2-3 weeks upon receipt of a completed fund application. Please note that any complexities or clarifications uncovered during the application review process may prolong the timeline to open a fund.

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No. Funds at Tides must be opened with a minimum of $100,000 of committed funding for US-based activity or $50,000 for funds supporting a single domestic or international project or organization.

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The first step in opening a fund at Tides is determining mission alignment. If The Tides Approach aligns with your vision, reach out to us via the Partner With Us form, and Tides staff will contact you for an initial assessment.

Once ready to open a fund, you’ll receive a short online application to collect necessary information for opening a fund and for final assessment of fit with Tides.

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